Today energy consumption and energy savings are two of the main concerns in the policy framework of industrialised and developing countries. Great attention is paid in limiting pollutant emissions and, specifically, those related to road transport.
In 2005, the transport sector in Italy consumed 43 Mtoe: 50% of this amount was produced by private cars and mopeds, thus contributing to 29% of total CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. In this sector the use of traction systems with fuel cells of polymeric type (PEFC) can be an interesting alternative to internal combustion engines. The main advantages of a system of fuel cell propulsion are twofold:
- PEFC cells fuelled by hydrogen are a very efficient energy conversion system able to give a substantial contribution in reducing global emissions of GHGs;
- the products of the electrochemical reaction are water, heat and electricity, so harmful emissions are zero.
The storage of hydrogen in vehicles is the main problem to overcome for increasing the use of fuel cells in the transport sector.
The main objective of the project is the identification of innovative materials for the adsorption of hydrogen to be stored in tanks for fuel cells vehicles.
The study focused on newly formulated inorganic microporous adsorbents materials (zeolite-type) and metal-organic materials (metal organic frameworks, MOF) by analysing them with experimental methods and modelling.
The results provided useful indications on adsorption capacities (in terms of adsorption isotherms) and on adsorption and desorption speed (determined through the Zero Length Column ZLC technique) in relation to the varying pressure and temperature with the purpose to operate an initial screening of the different materials, so that the more effective adsorbent system for the specific application and object of study can be identified.